Back in the summer I signed up for the Initiate Knit Design Challenge, which is a challenge run from time to time on Instragram by Frenchie of Aroha Knits fame. As with most things I do, I just did it because I thought it would be interesting and to see if I could actually design anything worth making. The challenge was structured very well with emails being sent explaining each step of the challenge and live Q&A sessions with Frenchie herself. They weren't live for me though, as she lives in Japan and I am in the UK, so our timings were completely out! I caught up with everything on the replays, so, thankfully, all was not lost!
From day 1 I was absolutely hooked and I found the whole process fascinating. We started by creating a mood board. Now, I had heard of mood boards, but to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what they were. What a revelation and what fun! Like most people, I don't need much of an excuse to rummage around on Pinterest, so I was very happy to get lost down that particular rabbit hole and come up with some stunning images to put onto my board (see above). I have to say at this point that I had a rough idea of what I wanted to create using a particular ball of yarn in my stash, so the Pinterest search was pretty focussed. From here I moved on to thinking about the stitch pattern I would use. As the ombre colourway of my yarn is reminiscent of the sea I wanted to use a stitch that represented the beach and sea in some way. After flicking through my knitting books for a while, I found the perfect stitch pattern - a modular shell shape.
After that, it was time to get out the knitting needles and have some fun! Suffice to say, there has been a lot of knitting and unpicking... knitting and unpicking... which is all part of the designing (and learning process). It's fascinating to me, that an idea that looks so amazing in your head can end up looking completely different once on the needles. The shawl is now finished and it is time to get the pattern tech edited and tested. Once all of that is done, the beast will be released into the Big Wide World!
All aspects of designing were covered from the mood board, right through to pattern layout. I really loved doing this challenge and have since joined Frenchie's Swatch Studio Circle to take my designing further. Yes, I have definitely got the designing bug and have a cowl and socks in the production line as we speak, with other ideas still in the noodling and doodling stage waiting to be transformed into something wearable.
So as they say..... Watch This Space!